Malls Built Out of Shipping Containers Around the World

You can do a lot with a few shipping containers.

Shipping container houses, restaurants, pop-up spaces, and hotels have become extremely popular in the last two decades. It’s a great way to build a small, sustainable structure with low building expenses and an even lower carbon footprint.

Until recently, building grander structures with shipping containers would have been unthinkable. Now, with the proper resources and technology, however, you can build pretty much anything out of shipping containers. Today, we’re going to be talking about shipping container malls that have popped up around the world.

Whether it’s in Las Vegas or New Zealand, commercial developers all around the world are seeing the benefits of shipping container malls. Read more to learn about this incredible trend.

Common Ground – Soeul, SK

At the time of opening in 2015, Common Ground in Soeul had the distinction of being the world’s largest shipping container mall. In total, there are 200 shipping containers that make up the complex. It’s split into 4 areas – the market hall, market ground, terrace market, and street market – containing a mix of boutiques and restaurants in three stories. Common Ground is an impressive structure that has become an epicenter of culture in the heart of Soeul.

Boxpark – London, UK

The first Boxpark, in Shoreditch, is made up of 60 containers housing numerous international brands. It was the first pop-up mall of its kind and has since expanded to include two other locations; Croydon and Wembley. This mall has its origins in Roger Wade and his shop and fashion label Boxfresh, which dates back to 1999.

Downtown Container Park – Las Vegas, NV

Downtown Las Vegas has seen a revitalization due in part to things like the downtown container park. This one is an open air shopping center with a special focus on boutique shopping, unique dining, and the type of high-end entertainment that you can only get in Las Vegas.

Re:START – Christchurch, NZ

Re:START was a pop-up shipping container mall in the wake of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, which destroyed many of the buildings in its City Mall. Though it was always meant to be short-term, it was so beloved that it stayed open until 2018. Re:START is a testament to the power and potential of building shipping container malls.

stackt market – Toronto, ON

Downtown Toronto’s stackt market opened in 2019 to much fanfare. It’s a massive venue made up of 120 shipping containers that house everything from retail and dining establishments to experience and community spaces.

By celebrating the city’s diversity, stackt market has taken an unused space in the heart of downtown and turned it into one of the hotspots of the city.

Is Texas Next for Shipping Container Malls?

We’re already seeing shipping container malls pop up in other places, even in Texas. El Paso’s TI:ME at Montecillo is a smaller example, housing several bars, restaurants, and specialty shops.

If we’ve learned anything from the amazing malls we’ve discussed here, it’s that shipping container malls would thrive in most major cities. It’s easy to picture Dallas and Houston embracing the unique and exciting benefits of a shipping container malls. If you’re a Texan property developer, you should strongly consider what you could do with a few dozen shipping containers.

At Equipment Management Services, we deal in shipping containers for the Dallas and Houston areas. Whether you’re looking to build a house or erect a full-scale mall, we’re your one-stop shop for shipping containers and modifications.

How to Start a Business Using Shipping Containers

There’s lots to think about when you decide to launch a new retail business. First, you’ve got to come up with a great business plan, then find startup capital, build inventory, get registered, and find your employees. Once you’ve got all of that figured out, you still need to decide on a location for your business.

In this post, we’re going to talk about why starting your retail business with a shipping container is the right move. Retail shops are the perfect match for what shipping containers provide, but there are some other benefits as well.

Keep reading to gain inspiration for your new shipping container business.

Starting Small With Retail Shops

The beauty of using shipping containers for retail shops is that they allow you to start small and grow comfortably. Because they’re affordable and take up little space, you really only have to worry about finding a suitable sized piece of land.  Once you’ve done that, you can build up your retail shipping container shop. They’re great for small clothing boutiques or thrift shops. They are an elegant solution to the problem of searching for a retail space to lease.

Getting Into the Arts

If you’re an artist or artisan, a shipping container space will be the perfect way to open up a gallery and showcase your paintings, photographs, wares, or whatever it is that you make and sell. This is one of the more popular shipping container based businesses out there, as other small galleries and pop-ups have shown in other parts of the country. Both Houston and Dallas are home to growing art communities, but space is always hard to come by as an artist. So, get a shipping container and start displaying your work today.

Fine Dining

A new trend in the culinary world is the shipping container restaurant. These are really popular in shipping container strip mall structures. But nowadays you’re starting to see them appear more and more by themselves, just about all around the country.

Its a known fact that Texans love their food!  It’s a great way to start a small restaurant if you’re a young chef and want to focus on building your menu and getting customers into the door. When you can’t find a space set up for your restaurant already, shipping containers make it easy to build a simple kitchen and small dining area.

Coffee Shop

Coffee shops are always better in cozier spaces. As with restaurants, shipping containers are really inviting to the coffee shop business model. You just need a simple space, big enough to fit your coffee machine, seating, and maybe a retail shop. Another perk is that they’re easier to build in bigger cities. You just need a small piece of land and the customized shipping container will do the rest.

Small Office

If you’re an independent entrepreneur in any field, a shipping container or two would make for a perfect office for you and a few other employees. Whether you’re a tax accountant or an architect, a shipping container provides you with ample space to set up a few desks and cabinets.

Start Your Business In a Shipping Container Today

Now that you’ve got business ideas from retail shops to fine dining, you can start creating a business plan for a shipping container based business today! It all starts with an idea and then a space to work in.

To get your shipping container business started, contact us at Equipment Management Services. We’re your one-stop-shop for new and used shipping containers in Houston and Dallas.

All about Shipping Container Tiny Homes

Shipping container tiny homes are a flexible and affordable alternative to conventional houses. They offer a solid, weatherproof structure at a fraction of the price of a traditional build. But what exactly is a shipping container tiny home? Let’s dig into this more and find out.

Shipping Container Tiny Homes Basics

Tiny homes are houses with very small external footprint and an inside designed to space maximization. The tiny home movement uses a lot of creative building materials, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Shipping containers are a popular building material for tiny homes because they already arrive with a sturdy corrugated steel shell. Shipping container tiny homes interiors offer a blank canvas to build out this space into an ideal home layout.

It’s also relatively easy to use more than one container to expand this space, side-ways or upwards. Extra containers can quickly give you a second or even a third story. As you can imagine, there are lots of shipping container tiny home plans to choose from. You are only limited by your imagination, budget and space constraints.

Ready-Built or DIY?

One of the benefits of a shipping container tiny home is the ability to customize your home economically. However, to make an empty container into a functional home takes a lot of work and specialized knowledge. If you have a good working knowledge of carpentry or metal work, adding internal walls and external windows to your shipping container could be easy. Plumbing and electrical work can be trickier in such a small space however.

Building your own shipping container home from scratch might save you money, but it can lead to frustration and expensive mistakes. If you are already a skilled builder, it might be possible to buildout your entire home by yourself, but that isn’t an option for everyone.

There are a handful of companies that sell ready-built shipping container homes and offer customization services to take care of the more complex building tasks for you. These services give you the freedom and flexibility to make your home your own while also giving you the experts you need to do it right.

To save on transportation costs, check for shipping container service providers in your area first.

Know Your Local Regulations

The first thing you’ll need before you build your shipping container home is a place to put it. Owning a piece of land might seem like thats enough, but you’ll need to check with your city’s government about building permits before your start. A fabulous shipping container tiny home is no good if your city won’t let you live in it. Knowing the zoning laws for your area is an important step to take when you are considering a tiny home.

While some places have restrictive zoning rules, Houston, Texas is a great example of a place with very few restrictions when it comes to building a shipping container home. They do not have zoning laws, and instead use development ordinances to regulate buildings in the city.

Find Your Containers

Shipping container tiny homes are an easy and affordable way to design the home of your dreams. While building a long-lasting, functional shipping container home that complies with local regulations may seem daunting, there are experts who can help!

Reach out to us today to start your tiny house journey soon.

Container Home Texas

5 Tips for Choosing Shipping Container Hotels to Stay At

Are you an adventurous traveler, looking for somewhere different to stay? If so, then you should consider a shipping hotel. Not only are they totally unique, but they also come in a range of comfort levels and styles that you need to know about.

Shipping container hotels are becoming more prevalent, with more choices popping up around the world. Below, we give you 5 tips for choosing shipping container hotels to stay at.

1. Choose a Location

Staying in shipping containers is becoming extremely popular. You may actually be surprised at how many locations around the world have shipping container hotels. From Argentina to Japan, there are a host of choices for the adventurous traveler.

If you prefer to stay closer to home, then the US itself has a number of hotels made from shipping containers. Detroit has First Container, a boutique hotel with over 45 rooms. In Texas, you can find the Flophouze shipping container hotel.

2. Opt for Comfort

Surprisingly, staying at shipping container hotels can offer a very high level of service and comfort. One example is the Alterra Beach Resort in Argentina. It started life as a small accommodation service from shipping containers, then expanded to a huge resort, all made from the repurposed containers.

The location has all the luxury amenities you would expect. These include massage services, relaxing pool and spa services, and even its own art gallery.

3. Combine It With a Festival

For many, festival accommodation is nothing more than a flimsy tent. While comfort has been increasing to include yurts and better equipped temporary facilities, nothing can beat a shipping container hotel.

The US company Rollick Hotels specializes in temporary container hotel designs. Using an innovative design imported from Hong Kong, they plan to rent them out at major events such as the Superbowl and the major US music festivals.

4. Go for a Known Brand

It is not just boutique hotels that are letting you stay in shipping containers. Major hotel chains are also getting in on the act. One of these is the British firm Travelodge.

They have a shipping container hotel that is made from a huge 120 rooms. This hotel was covered in cladding to give it the appearance of a regular hotel. It was so successful, they then built a much larger 300 room hotel near Heathrow airport.

5. Save Money

Of course, there are a number of budget options for shipping container hotels. Scotland was one of the first countries to open a shipping container hostel, ideal for anyone backpacking in the highlands. The 12 containers each house mixed bed dormitories, that can sleep up to 48 people.

Finding Shipping Container Hotels

All that is left is to try out one of the many shipping container hotels located around the world. With more popping up, they offer an interesting alternative for your accommodation needs.

If you are considering building a container hotel, or have any shipping container queries, then contact Equipment Management Services. We can help you with everything from container sales to container modifications. Click here to discuss your needs with one of our expert staff members.

What to Consider when building a Shipping Container Affordable Home

Have you been inspired by the idea of upcycling a shipping container into your new home?

Shipping container affordable housing is becoming more common as mainstream housing prices continue to rise. As this is still a relatively new idea, all the details have not yet become common knowledge. So, let take a closer look at some of the ins and outs of this alternative minimalist dwelling units.

Shipping Container Affordable Housing

What you see stacked high on ships are now being used as building materials for the latest tiny homes and sometimes even trendy businesses. The containers themselves are reasonably priced, especially for a used one.

Of course, there are a lot of other costs to factor in, but for the price of one or two months of a mortgage, you could easily purchase a pre-owned container and begin the buildout process.

Where Will You Put It?

Before we even begin talking about the details of living in shipping containers, you’ll need a place to put your new home. Do you have a piece of land, or are you planning on shopping for one? Flat land is suggested, and privacy (no neighbors) is always nice.

Also, will you go all the way and live “off of the grid,” or are you just after a non-traditional style home? If going of the grid, Solar panels or wind power can serve as a good alternative source of electricity.

Talk To Your Local Municipality First

Not to scare you off of the idea, but there are horror stories about people building a shipping container home, and having to tear it down because they didn’t have the proper permits. Don’t be like those people, get all of your permission slips before making this journey.

Shipping Container Providers

The best move that you can make is to purchase your shipping container from someone who deals with them all the time, and in a professional manner. Buying shipping containers from a local container depot is recommended over a random internet marketplace find.

Picking Your Pros

It is never too early to start planning on who will be doing the work on your shipping container home. Will you hire an architect, or will you design the floorplans yourself? You will need all kinds of home building experts. Electricians, plumbers and metal fabricators to name a few.

Advantages of a Shipping Container Home

This non-traditional style home comes with many perks.

Here is just a few,

  • Unique
  • Affordable
  • Sustainable
  • Mobile

The list of advantages goes beyond this short list, but this is a good start.

Disadvantages of a Shipping Container Home

As always, it is best to look at the cons, as well as the pros of the situation.

  • Challenging to insulate
  • Difficult to cut
  • Narrow in length
  • Finding building contractors with experience

The more of a challenge it is to build your shipping container home, the more you will appreciate it in the end.

Take that first step!

Yes, there is a lot to think about and plan for, but if you really want it then just go for it! Building a shipping container affordable home can be an unique, fun, and rewarding experience.

Do you have more questions about shipping containers? Texas-based Equipment Management Services (EMS) is the local leader in the container supply and modification industry. They are ready to help answer any/all your queries, contact them today!

4 Reasons Your Business Needs Job Site Container Offices

Here’s a shocker: The market for shipping containers is already worth $8.7 billion. Not only that, but the shipping container industry is expected to hit $12.08 billion by the year 2027.

A natural side effect of this accelerated growth is an ever increasing stock pile of shipping containers. These containers can very efficiently be upcycled into mobile offices, tiny dwelling units and shelters. So if you’re considering adding shipping container offices to your job sites, you are already ahead of the curve. These modular offices can benefit your business operations in a multitude of ways.

Here are some of the reasons why your business needs job site container offices (now!)

1. Long term Affordability

Let’s face it: One of the biggest benefits of investing in job site shipping containers is that they can save your company a ton of money in the long run. Although you’ll probably have to pay a substantial amount upfront for labor and construction, you will likely wind up saving more cash in the end.

For instance, instead of leasing space, you now have efficient modular offices that can be set up anywhere near or on the jobsite. Once the job is completed, you can just ship them to another job site. So, that large initial upfront investment continues to pay dividends for the lifetime of the container as it is used on multiple job sites.

2. Efficiency

In case you didn’t know, having completely private shipping containers as offices makes them extremely convenient workplaces for your employees. Especially if they are in the midst of a very noisey and/or hazardous job site. Like for instant in the industry verticals of construction, mining, manufacturing and oil drilling. These modular offices can provide a distraction free, quiet and comfy space for employees to de-stress, focus and be more productive.

3. Customizability

Shipping containers are very modular and extremely durable. Because of their inherent structural strenght, container modification experts, like Texas-based EMS, can pretty much build-out any kind of  job site shipping container office you can dream off.

These containers can be  completely customized, meaning that they can be outfitted with things like built-in desks, lighting, shelves, and restrooms. Talk about a professional workspace! Whatever your company needs, it can probably be build-out with shipping containers.

4. Sustainablity

A big perk of buying job site shipping containers is that they are very sustainable for the environment. For starters, recycling the ever growing surplus of containers into offices is already a big positive for the environment. On top of this, their overall carbon footprint is small, especially if they are well insulated. Lastly, due to their durable construction and materials, job site shipping containers can last many years with modest regular maintenance.

Get the Job Done With Job Site Container Offices

Ready to add job site container offices to your workspace? No matter your shipping container size needs or your budget, EMS has the containers and modification expertise you are looking for.

Not only are shipping containers an amazingly affordable job site addition, they’re also a very durable investment. In addition, they’re extremely portable, which is perfect for businesses on the go.

Want to buy the best quality shipping containers in Houston?

Get in touch to request a quote today!

Steps to building a Shipping Container Garage

Are you thinking about building a garage? Do you want something sturdy where you can store not only your cars but other valuable items?  Then Shipping container garages are the perfect solution! Made from corrugated steel, they’re a great protection from hail, wind, corrosion, and burglars. You can even move the garage with you if necessary.

Keep reading, and we’ll show you how to make the most out of a shipping container garage.

The Eco-Conscious Material

One of the best things about shipping container garages is that they’re an eco-conscious choice. Millions of TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units) ship around the world in cargo containers. Some containers make only one trip and get set aside. So, reusing these big hunks of metal make a lot of sense for the environment.  Also, don’t forget, by using an old container, you’re lowering the demand for wood, cement, and other building materials.

Choose Your Size

If you looking for a simple, one-car only garage? You can go with a single shipping container. However, if you need a two-car garage, you’ll most likely need at least two or more containers. Fortunately, shipping containers come in many different sizes ranging from 10 to 45 feet long.

Container Types

Other than size, decide whether you want one of two types of containers:

  • Used
  • One-trip container

Used containers are less expensive and available on shorter notice than new containers. A new container is a one-trip container because it makes one loaded trip from somewhere like China to the United States. One-trip containers are cleaner without dings and dents, but they’re also more expensive. If you’re looking for high-end aesthetics, use a one-trip container.

Garage Style

One interesting container garage style, if you have space, is a two-container garage. Place two containers on the ground, leaving a space between them big enough to hold your car. Add a roof between the two containers as well as a back and an automatic front door. The cars go between the containers, under the roof. Now you also have two empty containers on each side for storage. Shipping containers are modifiable, so chances are you can get whatever style you want. It’s a good idea to check with your city first. Most cities enforce codes and you want to make sure the city will approve your idea.

Additional Features

Don’t need two shipping containers for garage storage? Turn one of the containers into an extra living space.  Containers are a blank canvas on which you can get creative. Leave it totally stripped down or add some finishing touches.  Add insulation, electricity, and even a window or two. Put down nice flooring and paint the walls for a fully-finished office, playroom, or guest room.

Eco-Conscious Shipping Container Garages

Shipping container garages are a great alternative to traditionally built garages. They’re also eco-conscious and affordable. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to build the garage of your dreams! We’d love to help. Contact us today, and we’ll help you with everything you need for your dream shipping container garage.

Yes You Can! Building a Mall Using Customized Shipping Containers

You’ve thought about it, and you want to do something that helps people. You want it to be big, innovative, and most importantly, bold. You have your sights set on building…a mall!

This is an incredible move on your behalf, but you really feel that the cause makes it worth the challenge. After all, you’ll be helping people buy the goods and services they need and make a good profit doing it. That being said, have you ever thought about creating your mall using customized shipping containers?

Shipping containers have exploded onto the pop culture scene as an alternative way to create custom storage and even build multi-story homes, and they show no signs of slowing down. Now, you can take things up a notch and create your own shopping mall using shipping containers. Keep reading this article to learn why you need to start building with containers.

Customized Shipping Containers Add a Modern Aesthetic

Modern problems require modern solutions, and building with shipping containers is a good way to do just that. Many new stores and shopping centers made from shipping containers are popping up everywhere. Also, the youth are showing they love the rugged urban, contemporary feel that these containment units bring.

They Offer a Sturdy, Durable Design

Shipping containers are used the world over because of their strong build combined with a design structure that lasts. They’re easy to move and stack in place and they can resist years of wear and tear. So, you can rest easy, that your shipping container mall will stand the test of time.

They’re Cheap to Buy

Have you researched the price you have to pay for a traditional shopping mall ? The financial numbers are off the charts! We can assure you that building a mall using recycled containers will probably end up being significantly cheaper than doing it the old-fashioned way. Want to learn more? contact us, we are here to help!

Shipping Containers Are Highly Customizable

Container units do not come in funky oblong shapes and other random odd-ball sizes; all recycled containers are shaped the same and come in a standard set of sizes. This simplicity allows the shopping mall designer to practice creativity to the fullest! Everything from the arrangement of the containers, to the number of floors, to the exterior design. Your mall could end up being every bit as unique as you wish it to be.

Custom Containers Just for You

Now you know that it’s completely possible to build a mall using customized shipping containers, you may want to get to work on planning such an unique project ASAP. The next best step is finding a reliable local vendor from whom to buy the shipping containers from.

If you are near Houston or Dallas, you won’t have to look any further then Equipment Management Services. Shipping containers are our specialty! We offer both used and new shipping container units, as well as storage containers, mobile container offices, depot services, and much more.

Take a look around our site to find out what we can do for you, and give us a call whenever you’re ready to buy a few shipping containers of your own. We’re sure you’re going to love your new mall!

Top 5 Questions When Shopping for Modified Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are an ideal solution to create a custom office space, workshop, or design a cozy one-of-a-kind home—but not all shipping containers can help you accomplish what you want. Do you know what to look for when choosing the right modified shipping containers?

Before you buy new or used containers, consider your needs, and ask a few questions to find the best containers for your project. When you explore your options and work with a knowledgeable cargo container sales company, you’ll get the most critical questions answered, helping you avoid costly mistakes afterwards.

Below are just a few important questions you should be asking.

1. What Is Your Goal?

The type of use or structure you want to build can help determine the best shipping container(s) for the job. You’ll need different sizes and conditions if you repurpose them to build an office, home, garage or shelter.

With your end goal in mind, your cargo container company can then help you find the best containers at a reasonable price. They can help you find containers that have the right design specifications for a new home or simply for cargo freight. There are so many options when it comes to containers, its best to consult with container experts near you, especially ones who have modification services in-house. Nothing like a one-stop shop for all your container needs!

2. What Sizes Do You Need?

Don’t get caught without enough container space! This could delay your project or leave you without an important section of your building. If you’re planning an office space, warehouse, or home, you’ll probably need more then one container to complete your structure. Based on your design plans, a good national or local cargo container supplier can help you determine how many containers you need and the sizes that will fit your plan.

3. What Is Your Budget?

Can you afford the number of containers you need for your completed building? Your budget should include the purchase of the container plus the costs required to ship, stack, and make modifications to these customized containers. If new containers bust your budget, consider used shipping containers as a cost-effective way to create a home, office, or additional storage.

4. Do You Have Space?

Where will your containers be finally located? If you’re planning a permanent structure, make sure you have the land set aside for the size of your shipping container structure. Also, its really important to look into local building codes and making sure that you can acquire all the necessary permits before moving forward with the container project.

5. What’s Your Timeline?

When do you need the containers? If you have completed the building plans and design, and your site is ready to go, you don’t want to wait for your shipping containers to arrive.

Its easier to meet your deadlines when you partner with a cargo container company that has an extensive stock of ready-to-go containers for all your needs.

Get Creative With Modified Shipping Containers

You might be surprised at how flexible modified shipping containers can be when planning your new space. Use customized containers to create the home of your dreams, expand your office spaces, or create a workshop or studio to grow your business.

Plan your goals, budget and timeline, then let our team help you find and modify the best containers to meet your needs! Contact us to learn more about our extensive inventory and modification services.

A How-to Guide on Building a Shipping Container Workshop in Houston, TX

At least 85% of homebuyers in 2020 want ample garage space. They want a place to not only keep their vehicles, but to also store their gardening supplies, lawnmower, and sporting equipment.

Many people also want workshop space in the garage for woodworking, crafting, or working on home improvement projects.

The trouble is, a basic one-stall garage doesn’t offer enough room for a workspace. What’s a space-deprived homeowner to do? Enter the shipping container workshop. Read on to learn how to convert a storage container into a workshop, so you can add usable space to your home without breaking the bank.

Get a Building Permit

Before you start building your container workshop, check with your local municipality to see if you need a permit. The permit process can take weeks or sometime months, so it’s wise to start the process early.

You’ll also need to check the local building codes. This will tell you the maximum dimensions for your workshop and where you can put it on your property. Not getting a permit and ignoring building codes can cost you a lot of money down the road, so play by the rules and your future self will thank you.

Choose the Right Container Size

Most shipping container dimensions are 8 feet tall and 20 or 40 feet long. You can also find high cubes which are 9.5 feet tall. Containers also come in different lengths, but 20 and 40 feet are the most common.

To choose the right size, think about your workshop needs. Do you need tall ceilings to work on large oil paintings? Do you need a long workshop to accommodate your woodworking materials? Think about your workshop needs before you settle on a container size. Also remember that you can modify or combine several containers to suit your needs.

Install Windows, Electricity, and Insulation

Once you have your container, you can install windows and doors, wire for electricity, and put in insulation.

As you’re designing your workshop, think about how you plan to use the space. For example, if you’re going to run a lot of power tools at once, you’ll need to set aside more money for your electrical installation costs. If you live in a cold climate, you’ll need to invest in higher quality windows and a heating system.

Add a Workbench and Shelves

Once you’ve built-out the initial space, you can start designing your internal workspace and add some organization. While it’s important to have plenty of table and counter space to work, you will also need enough room to walk around.

You can also install shelves, cabinets, seating, and window blinds. All that’s left is to add your tools and supplies and enjoy your brand new workspace. You’ll have your own dedicated space to work and do your hobbies.

Start Your Shipping Container Workshop Today

A shipping container workshop is a great way to add usable workspace to your home. Plus, it costs a fraction of the price of brand new construction.

Whether you’re looking for new or used shipping containers, we can help. At EMS, we also offer custom shipping container modification services so we can handle the workshop conversion for you.

Contact us today to learn more or visit our Houston or Dallas locations.